AAS inTECHgration

digital strategies for teaching and learning

Author: Paul Carpenter

JumpRope 2.0

JumpRope has now opened up a preview of JumpRope 2.0 that is ready for use by teachers. Even though the look is all new, they have aimed to make it easy to navigate for those of us familiar with what they are calling JumpRope Legacy view. Mainly they aimed to provide a faster experience with a more modern interface.

New features include:

  • the ability for teachers to nickname classes
  • the ability to add, edit, and copy assessments within the gradebook tab
  • a more convenient quick lookup to see an overview of your students
  • web friendly (non-Flash) so that it can be used on phones and tablets
  • contextual help, readily accessible

Please watch this tour of the new layout and a few new features.

G Suite Updates

Email team members from within your Team Drive.

The majority of AAS is now using Google Team Drives to keep teams organized and to maintain secure files. Now when you are working in the Team Drive, you will not need to switch to Outlook or elsewhere to message your team. You can email team members from within the Team Drive.

Email team members from within Team Drive (image from https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com)

New ways to comment on PDFs, Microsoft files, and images in Google Drive

If you share an image, a PDF, or a Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint in Google Drive, you can now comment on these files and reply to others’ comments as well. You simply click on the file in Drive, highlight the text or area you wish to comment on, and then add your comment. You can also click on others’ comments to reply in line.

This could be used for team collaboration or perhaps for student groups to annotate or converse about an image or document.

Provide quick feedback on the most popular file formats, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF files, in the Drive preview pane. (image from https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com)

More intelligent organization and search in Shared with me.

The Shared with me view of Google Drive can be overwhelming or confusing. I think of it as a river flowing past. I can stand on a bridge above it, fish out useful items, and add them to My Drive to organize them.

Soon Shared with me will be organized by artificial intelligence that aims to predict the people and files you are most likely to search for. This machine learning should improve the more you use it.

Intelligent organization in Shared with me (image from https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com)

See who has viewed files you own or edit.

Under the Tools menu in G Suite apps, you will find Activity dashboard. This pop-up will show you when others have viewed the file. This is not meant to replace Version history, which allows you to see all changes made by other editors on the file. (Did you know that you can also name specific versions? No need to save drafts as separate documents.)

The Activity dashboard will help you decide how and when you might need to follow up with someone who needed to view the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Only editors of the file will see the viewers, and there will be some limitations based on how widely/publicly a file is shared.

Activity dashboard (image from https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com/)

Find more details here.

Twitter: Fantastic PD & PLN

Many educators around the world have created a Twitter  account (it’s free) at a PD session or conference at some point. But often we forget about it or say that we are too busy to spend time sifting through streams of information for useful ideas.

The truth is that Twitter, like any social network, can be a major time drain. However, a few key strategies can help you ease into it and start to make it worth the time and effort.

Curate your PLN

Really, Twitter allows you to curate and collect only information that you will find useful. And MANY, MANY educators use it regularly to learn and to share their learning.

A good way to get started is to follow a few teachers, education professionals, gurus in your subject/specialty, and organizations related to the subject you teach. Follow a few colleagues from AAS too. During PD days, tweet some of the thoughts that strike you, photos/videos of the images/scenes that inspire you, and the ideas you want to revisit or think about further. When you attend a conference or PD session, watch for posted hashtags or twitter IDs of presenters. Or look up any presenters and see if they are on Twitter. Here are some starters:

For Admin: Lead Up NowEric Sheninger, George Couros, Dan McCabeMike Crowley, Arnie Bieber

For Elementary: Kath Murdoch, Anne van Dam, Maria PopovaDonalyn Miller, Margie Myers-Culver, Amanda McCloskey

For Math: Dan Meyer, Dr. Math E Matics, Alice Keeler

For Science: Google Science Fair, The Association for Science Educators

For English: Jim Burke, Penny Kittle, NCTE, Poetry FoundationGrammar Girl

For Social Studies: Data Is Beautiful, vox.com, The Economist, Nick Dennis

For Art: Google Arts&Culture, Nicki Hambleton, The Art of Education

For EVERYONE: Edutopia, Eduporium, Mindshift, Common Sense EducationASCD, IBO, IB PYP, IB DP, Google for Education

And if you are seeing irrelevant posts in your Twitter feed, simply unfollow those people or organizations.

unfollow

What should I tweet?

First, you don’t need to tweet at all if you don’t want to. You can simply watch/listen/read to what others are saying/posting. It can be useful to retweet ideas, links, and sources that you want to collect and revisit at some point. In this way Twitter can be a microblog of thoughts and resources that you agree with and want to explore further. It doesn’t matter if you have followers. You can simply use Twitter to feed your own professional development.

#hashtags

Using hashtags(#) is a way to sift through Twitter to find out what people are saying about a topic and to join in if you want to. Inserting a hashtag into your tweets also will connect you to others having an asynchronous conversation. The great thing about #hashtags is that you don’t need to know some official list. You can make them up as you go. However, you will see common hashtags in others’ posts and then start to use them.

Here are some frequently used education hashtags: #pyp, #pypchat, #ibdp, #edtech, #edchat, #pbl, #UbD, #engchat, #scichat, #mathchat, #litchat.


To make tweeting at AAS more coherent,
we should use common hashtags:

#AASlearning

#AASPenguins


AASMoscow Tweets List

Another possibility is to create a Twitter List based on a group or topic you would like to follow. I have created a public list called AASMoscow Tweets, containing connections to the AAS faculty who I know are at least occasional tweeters. You can subscribe to this list to follow the ideas and postings of other AAS faculty.

If you don’t see yourself on this list, please tweet to me @PaulJCarpenter so I can add you. And remember to use @AAS_Moscow when referring to AAS.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck and other similar tools allow you to focus only on following specific streams. It allows you to follow a certain hashtag or a certain list of people, such as the AASMoscow Tweets list.

tweetdeck

Google Classroom Parent/Guardian Email Summaries

Parents/guardians can receive a daily or weekly email summary of their student’s class details. It consolidates information from all classes into one message, and it is automated so that teachers do not have to send it manually.

The email will include:

  • Missing work—Work that’s late at the time the email was sent
  • Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or work that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails)
  • Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers

Teachers need to do two things: 

  1. After you have created all of your classes, in the People section of Classroom, the teacher must activate the Guardian Email Summaries. Parent email addresses will be added for you.
  2. Use Google Classroom often! Make announcements, post assignments, pose questions, and check to see that student work is turned in.

Here’s what parents/guardians will see:

Parents will receive instructions for subscribing from AAS soon. They can always choose to unsubscribe if they do not wish to receive so much information.

If you want more information, check out the links below.

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